A successful business empire which started in Winslow and the tenacity and drive of its owner was the focus of an ITV documentary this week.
Jamey Bowles, 22, who set up the Manhattan Ink tattoo studio was interviewed by entrepreneur Baroness Karen Brady about setting up the business, and his ambitious expansion plan.
Karen expressed concerns that Winslow might not be the best place for a tattoo studio - but Jamey then said that he had done his homework and with rapid expansion of town, and the forthcoming rail link, footfall and demand would be high.
The programme then skipped forward a year to see how the high end studio had expanded to include sites in Rushden Northants and Brackley - with Baroness Brady labelling the enterprise a huge success.
In the documentary Jamey talked about his drive and determination to succeed, and how leaving home at 16 had instilled in him a desire to do well in business.
He said: “I think I’ve always wanted to create stability, and I’ve always wanted to have everything I’ve always wanted. At one stage I was living on brown sauce and bread sandwiches when I first left home.”
Jamey, who set up the business with his own savings, had already started a number of successful businesses before Manhattan Ink. Aged 17 he set up his own construction company, then a cleaning firm, an advertising and marketing business and a large format design and print operation.
On being part of the programme alongside Baroness Brady, he said: “To have someone with such knowledge and experience appreciate your hard work and determination is a great feeling.”
Baroness Brady added: “What an inspirational young man - he just goes for it and that’s exactly what an entrepreneur does.”
At the end of the programme Baroness Brady met with Jamey again, and also with his brother Charlie who has been with the business from its inception.
Jamey said: “We are doing really well and we are definitely exceeding our targets.
“It wasn’t easy - it was actually really difficult and stressful, but it was also a lot of fun.”
To find out more go to www.manhattanink.co.uk